Some of us were gifted with the perfect vision that never seems to falter, while others among us need a little outside help to make sure we see the world as it is free of blur. People most often start off with glasses, but not everybody wants to wear them, whether it be for personal or aesthetic reasons.
Contact lenses are the next best thing. Nobody has any idea you’re wearing them and you still get to take in the world, and all of its tiny details. Unlike glasses, however, contact lenses are a pinch more invasive since they require careful application, and they rest directly on top of the eye. So that means there’s a bit of a learning curve. At worst, some people never manage to figure out how to best use their contact lenses to avoid discomfort or injury and end up giving up on them entirely. Luckily, this doesn’t have to be the case so long as you know what you’re doing. There’s a surprising amount more to know about lenses than most people think. For instance, many people are surprised to hear that their lenses will need to be replaced every so often as well as the case used to store them. All this means is that proper education is necessary when you are first prescribed your lenses; it isn’t too difficult to make your contact lens experience hassle & worry-free.
Let’s go over everything you’ll ever need to know to make sure you contact lens experience is as uneventful as possible:
The proper insertion of your contact lenses involves a few steps that should be followed to the letter. It should be noted that this is best done in front of your bathroom mirror.
1. Firstly, wash your hands thoroughly with a non scented and oil-free soap, some soaps with added ingredients can end up sticking to the lens, which is the last thing you’d like.
2. Next, give your contact lens case a bit of a shake, so the lens is no longer stuck to the bottom.
3. From there, use your fingertips (not the nails) to pick up the lens.
4. Once it’s in your hand, wash the lens with contact lens solution, do not use any tap water to wash off the lens.
5. Now make sure the lens is on the tip of your pointer finger on your dominant hand with the outside of the lens face-down.
6. Next you may either hold the top of your eyes open with your non-dominant hand and use your middle finger on the dominant hand to hold open the bottom eyelid, or instead use your non-dominant hand to open both eyelids as wide as possible.
7. Place the lens onto your eye; some people find it most comfortable to do this while looking towards the ceiling but looking directly forward is acceptable as well, whatever feels most comfortable to you.
8. Finally, slowly close the eyes and roll them in a full circle to help set the eyelid in place for the remainder of the time you’ll spend wearing it. Afterward, blink a few times and then check your eyes in the mirror to ensure the lens is centered on the eye.
Not too complicated, but there are a few mistakes commonly made by beginners that should be kept in mind:
To avoid mixing up your left and right contacts, it’s recommended that you start with the same eye each and every day when inserting your lenses.
While you’re still learning, you should also take care to keep your nails as short as possible, so you don’t accidentally scratch your eye. Once you’ve gotten the hang of things, you can even move up to putting in your contacts with longer nails.
The more moist and hydrated your eyes are, the less uncomfortable the process will be overall. So make sure to drink enough water and ask your doctor if eye drops are a good choice for you.
1. As before, it’s best to do this in front of a mirror.
2. Same as when you insert your contact lenses, it’s essential to wash your hands with antibacterial soap before taking your lenses out, you don’t want to transfer any pathogens that happen to be on your hands into your eye. Make sure your hands are dry before proceeding.
3. Add a few drops of sterile saline solution to the eye, so everything is nice and lubricated for easy removal.
4. Next, take your non-dominant hand and use your index finger to lift up your top eyelid. I recommend that you angle your head upwards for this step. Take your dominant hand and use your middle finger to pull down the bottom eyelid.
5. Now with your dominant hand, use your thumb and pointer finger to grip the lens. Do this gently with just enough force to lift the lens off of your eye slightly. From there, just remove as usual.
That’s mostly all there is to remove your contact lenses, but it’s worth adding that much like putting your lenses in you should always take out the same side each day to avoid mixing up the two lenses. They aren’t interchangeable despite what many people might think.
You aren’t entirely done yet; the next step is properly cleaning and storing your contact lenses before bed.
Cleaning your contact lenses properly is vital to maintaining proper eye health. If you get too sloppy, you risk opening up your eyes to infection, which is the last thing you’d want.
1. Start off by washing out your contact lens storage case. Use either a sterile saline solution or hot water to rinse out the lens and then allow it to air dry upside down and with the lids removed.
2. The next step is to put a new sterile cleaning solution into your lens case. This is not the same as saline solution; this solution is meant to sterilize your lenses.
3. After you’ve done that, clean the lens with the proper solution provided by your ophthalmologist. Clean both sides with your finger by beginning in the middle of the lens and slowly making your way towards the edges.
4. Once that’s finished, you can put the lens into the case. Take extra care to make sure you put it on the correct side.
5. Then after doing the same steps for the other lens, you’re to leave the lenses in the solution until the proper amount of time has elapsed. This is usually several hours so waiting until you’re going to bed is your best bet.
It’s as simple as that. It’s absolutely essential to be diligent in cleaning your lens and case; it’s the most likely entry point for bacteria. It should also be noted that your case isn’t meant to be used forever, more often than not, 3 months is the effective lifespan of your lens cases. Now that we’ve gone over the basics of removing and inserting your lenses, it’s time we take a look at some more general tips before moving on to some questions commonly held by first-time contact lens wearers.
It’s crucial that you stay as relaxed as possible when inserting or removing your lenses. Chances are you’ll have to do the process a few times before you’re completely anxiety-free, but the less scared you are of putting in the lenses, the fewer chances of you accidentally squinting or closing your eyes a bit too far. Don’t worry that you’ll hurt your eye or break the lens, thousands if not millions of people wear contact lenses every day and the vast majority of them do so with no complications.
Don’t neglect your lens cleaning duties. It’s of the utmost importance to regularly clean your lenses with the right cleaning solution on a consistent basis. If you don’t, bacteria or other unwanted microbes might take up residence in your eye.
Hydrated contact lenses are comfortable contact lenses. Don’t leave the house without eye drops and ideally bring some cleaning solution along with you in case you need to take them out to rehydrate your eyes and lenses. This will reduce any feelings of scratching on the eye from the lenses being worn.
Follow your doctor’s orders to the T. They’ll inform you exactly how long you can wear your particular type of lenses and how long you can use them & your storage case before you’ll need to replace them. You should also ask your doctor what kind of cleaning solution, saline solution, and eye drops you should be using with your particular type of lens. This step plays a massive part in maximizing your comfort level.
Take inventory of how your lenses are working for you on a consistent basis. Do your lenses still feel like they fit & function as well as the day you brought them home the first time? Do your lenses cause any redness in the eye? Taking the time to check over your lenses is important in continuing your health.
Now that you’re pretty much trained in general contact lens etiquette, there are a few common questions with contact lenses that should be touched upon:
If you have soft lenses there’s always a chance that your lenses will turn inside out as a result of your handling, it happens all the time and isn’t something that will reduce the lifespan of your lens or cause serious damage to the eye, just some minor discomfort.
To check if your contacts are inside out, place the lens onto the tip of your finger. If your lens makes a perfect half of a sphere, they’re the correct way. If they look like a bowl with a significant rim, they’re inside out.
Everybody from newbies to experienced wearers sometimes loses track of their contact lens, and the body tends to cancel out the feeling of wearing them after some time. Whether you’ve rubbed your eyes and think it may have fallen out or you still feel some weirdness in your eye, there’s always a chance your lens might have taken a bit of a stroll. Also, your contact lens might disappear under one of your eyelids, but it will never become lost behind your eye, so don’t worry.
The first important step is to check your immediate surroundings for the lens before you start exploring around your eye itself. Maybe it’s on the counter or has fallen to the ground nearby. Contact lenses very often have a blue or green tint added to them that will make them easier to spot.
From there, get close to a mirror and look at your face. Sometimes contact lenses fall out and rest on the cheek, but by this point, you’re mainly looking at the eye itself. You should be able to notice the outline of your lens around your iris if it is still in place and functioning correctly. Gently blinking or rubbing the upper eyelid is the next recommended step in case your lens has folded in slightly during use. Next you can pull down the lower eyelid to see if you can find the lens, and finally, you can check underneath your upper eyelid for the lens. If it’s underneath either eyelid, it’s as simple as closing your eyes and using your finger to reposition the lens over your iris.
You might end up needing to figure out your lens information to either tell curious friends and family or to tell another medical professional different from the one who prescribed you the lenses. Not all of the information that’s about to be listed will necessarily be found on the lenses, depending on the level of correction you need some of these attributes may be absent:
OD refers to the parameters for your right eye, while OS refers to the parameters for your left.
SPH refers to the amount of lens power you’ve been prescribed to correct your vision.
CYL & Axis will be present if your lenses are meant to cure astigmatism, and both parameters will be present if that is the case.
ADD is additional magnifying power and is found on reading, bifocal, and progressive lenses.
It’s fine to wear your lenses every day, but the length of time during each day is what matters. The exact amount of time you can wear your lenses varies with the type of lens you’ve been prescribed, but generally, this ranges anywhere from 8-16 hours in a day. Make sure to ask your ophthalmologist what type of lenses you’re being given before leaving so you can look up this information if you forget.
Some personal aspects also come into play with how long you can wear your lenses. If you feel your eyes are becoming excessively dry or sensitive, it’s a good sign, you should take a break from the lenses for an hour or so and give them a quick cleaning. Should this become a consistent issue, ask your doctor for lenses more suited to people with dryer eyes.
Many doctors also recommend that you remove your contacts about an hour or so before bed to give your eyes a break to recuperate. Get your contacts from https://ttdeye.com/.
The short answer to this question is no. Some lenses may be worn overnight; however, most people aren’t prescribed these particular types of lenses. Any time you think you might sleep for any amount of time you should take your lenses out entirely.
Having the lenses in for extended periods of time increases your chances of bacterial infection as well as complications like an irritated cornea. Chances are your eyes or lenses will be extremely dehydrated upon waking if you do accidentally fall asleep with them on, and they can be a pain to remove in this condition.
The cornea of the eye should also be given a break from contact lens use for a few hours at a time every day, so even if you do have overnight lenses, you probably should take them out when you sleep for the sake of your cornea.
There you have it; after reading this guide, you should be well equipped to deal with any issues you may face when wearing your contact lenses day in and day out. It might seem intimidating at first to have to put little domes over your eyes so you can see without the help of glasses, but over time, it’ll become second nature. Proper insertion and removal technique is vital to keeping your eyes safe from any physical damage while adhering to the rules that govern storage & cleaning will bring your chances of infection to nearly zero. They’re a piece of medical equipment like any other, so if you expect them to take care of you, it’s expected that you take care of them.